Extend the Experience: The George Washington Memorial Parkway

May 7, 2020Book Of The Week, Extend The Experience

The George Washington Memorial Parkway

The George Washington Memorial Parkway spans 7,000 acres through Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC, preserving both historical and environmental sites along the Potomac River. It was conceived as both a way to relieve tourist traffic to Mount Vernon, while connecting and preserving various sites associated with Washington’s life. As it was developed and expanded, other sites not connected with Washington, like Theodore Roosevelt Island, but important to the history of our nation were included. It was the first federally funded parkway and envisioned to be a grand gateway commemorative drive between the nation’s capital and Mount Vernon.

Book of the Week

This week’s book of the week is The George Washington Memorial Parkway, A Photo History Guide.

Travel through time along the George Washington Memorial Parkway and explore the stories, changes, challenges, and natural wonders of the past and present. Located in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., the Parkway offers a wide variety of experiences for everyone! Few figures in United States history are more revered than George Washington– a Revolutionary commander-in-chief, founding father, and first U.S. President. Washington lives on through innumerable places of tribute and through countless national and popular icons. Yet, the sites in and around his namesake city can claim special significance, for this is where he lived, worked, worshiped and planned for the future of this great nation.

key features along the Parkway

Mount Vernon

George and Martha Washington’s home was popular even during their lifetime. They had visitors and travelers coming via steamboat and trolley to get there. The Mount Vernon Memorial Highway was dedicated in 1932 by Congress. It eventually was expanded and renamed the George Washington Memorial Parkway we know today. You can enjoy Mount Vernon from home today with this virtual tour.

Great Falls Park

The Great Falls is part of the Potomac Gorge, a 14-mile-long river valley home to many rare plants and animals. The designated park covers 800 acres of land along the banks of the river, preserving and protecting this gem that has fascinated people for over 10,000 years. Enjoy the majesty and power of Great Falls with this video from the National Park Service on Facebook.


Arlington Memorial Bridge

The Memorial Bridge connects the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC to Arlington Cemetery, ending at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Virginia. Explore the Arlington Memorial Bridge with this virtual tour.

U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial

Depicting the iconic flag-raising at the Battle of Iwo Jima, the US Marine Corps War Memorial is a symbol of America’s gratitude to all Marines. It is based on the Pulitzer-prize winning photo shot by Joe Rosenthal that captured the second flag-raising during the battle and stirred America, weary from WWII, to push to the end. Learn more about this key moment that helped turn the tide of WWII here.

Passport Virtual Cancellation 

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal NHP

Learn about and explore the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal with the virtual experiences that C&O Canal NHP has to offer. The park preserves nearly 100 years of early American industrial and transportation history along the 184.5 miles between Washington, DC and Cumberland, MD. Add it to your virtual Passport collection today!

Bonus Park Content

You can experience many sites along the George Washington Memorial Parkway from home. Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon or the Arlington Memorial Bridge. Learn about the United States Marine Corp War Memorial and its special place in history. Or, if you need a little outdoor time, enjoy the crash and fall of the Great Falls. 

JR Ranger Content

The George Washington Memorial Parkway is a great place for Junior Rangers too! Start out by learning about our first president. Then complete the Fort Hunt and Let’s Move Outside Junior Ranger Books. Your Junior Ranger will learn all about the history of Fort Hunt and living outdoors through these virtual experiences. 

Shop The Experience

US Marine
Corps Cap

Great Falls Park
Collectible Lapel Pin

US Marine Corps War
Memorial Sculpture

New Ways to Celebrate Passport® 35

New Ways to Celebrate Passport® 35

Let’s get this party started! Since 1986, the Passport To Your National Parks® program has helped millions of visitors discover America’s treasures, while helping to protect them for future generations. Now visitors can celebrate 35 years of Passport with two...

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